Community members enjoy the Merrysville for the Holidays festivities and Electric Lights Parade
Merrysville for the Holidays helped kick off the holiday season for locals who gathered in Comeford Park for festivities on Dec. 7.
The annual event features the nighttime Electric Lights Parade as well as community groups and locals getting together in downtown Marysville.
"We had a wonderful turnout. The parade was fantastic and it was just a great way to kickoff the holiday season," said Tara Mizell, director of the city's Parks, Culture and Recreation Department.
Many locals said they appreciated the opportunity to celebrate the season.
"It's been great. This is our first time, actually, because we recently moved up here from Lynnwood," said local parent Matthew Alkire.
"It's very pretty and all the lights and trees are very well done, and having Santa for the kids is a nice little touch," he said.
This year a Christmas tree was lit up in the center of the park instead of lighting the water tower, as crews could no longer get up to the tower.
A corroded walkway and other problems have prevented staff from being able to check the holiday lights on the tower.
"It was unsafe to be able to do that. We were excited to have an alternative and try something new this year," said Mizell.
The Electric Lights Parade took place near the beginning of the event with many groups walking down State Avenue.
"We had a really great turnout of community members and a lot of walking groups, some of them really big," said Andrea Kingsford, recreation coordinator for the city and one of the organizers of the parade.
Both Marysville Getchell and Marysville-Pilchuck bands combined this year and marched together for the parade. "Which was incredible, it was a huge group and so much fun," said Kingsford.
Public works trucks from the city and other community vehicles, such as a Marysville School District bus, also put on a variety of holiday lights to participate in the parade.
"We had some really decked out big rigs this year with lots of lights," said Kingsford.
Kingsford said the parade is truly a local community parade.
"I think one of the things people really like is that they see people in the parade that they know," she said.
After the parade, Comeford Park was full of vendors and a bonfire from the Tulalip Lions Club.
"In the park we have lots of different types of vendors. Nonprofits doing fund raisers and for-sale vendors," said Joanna Martin, manager of the Ken Baxter Community Center and one of the organizers for the event.
"We kicked it off with some music at the beginning," she said.
She said that people enjoy the event for a variety of reasons.
"It's a night event while a lot of holiday events are during the day, which gives the opportunity for a lot of lights," she said.
"It's also a free event so you can come and enjoy the event without having to pay for anything," Martin said.
Merrysville for the Holidays has long been part of the holiday season for locals as well.
"This is a long-standing tradition. It's our 31st year and it's a great way to kick off the holiday season," said Kingsford.